It is a huge subject and one can easily fall in the trap of discussing various leadership traits, abilities and attributes. Then we end up discussing ways of leading different characters, different generations, different backgrounds and the discussion continues to evolve. We can easily end up discussing and looking at what great leaders did, Mahatma Gandhi, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs and so on.
However, really and truly I think we need to not forget to go back to basics, to the core principles. The key here is to keep in mind that leading (or managing) is not always downwards, we also need to manage upwards or horizontally, support and motivate our own bosses, peers and counterparts. But even more than that, it all starts from within, we need to ‘manage ourself’, to manage our own emotions first, our own life-balance, our health and well being and key amongst anything else, our attitude!
If there is a trait or an attribute that is key in leading and motivating or inspiring others it is absolutely the ability to stay positive under different (even challenging) conditions. The ability to take a deep breath and find ways to go around problems and difficulties with a can-do mentality, a mentality that put things in context, that looks at the situation from a distance without being emotionally carried away, and then to act positively towards it.
Great leaders inspire others because of what is radiating from inside. It is their attitude that can go miles and influence and attract countless others. This translates into body language, words and actions that can transform the atmosphere in a team (and if we have a lot of this) in a whole Company.
If I have to think of great leaders from this perspective, then I won’t only think of those great leaders who managed huge corporations or even nations. I will also think of people who managed themselves, despite huge challenges and even pain. A great example of this is Annabelle Vassallo who unfortunately passed away a few years ago because of cancer. Annabelle was a great leader, she remained positive, inspiring others, influencing others (on TV and printed media and in each opportunity she had).
The good news, although hard to train compared to other subjects, if you really believe that you can or need to improve your attitude, everyone can. We can all make that one small step towards becoming more positive, more caring, more inspiring and there is no limit to where this can keep going.
Written by: Joseph Farrugia